Resuscitating the ailing Ajaokuta Steel Company has again topped the agenda of the Federal Government, as the Minister of steel development mentioned it as a priority for his administration.
Resuscitating the company, which has been out of production for the past thirty-five years, was part of President Buhari’s mandate. He said it would enable it to generate employment for the nation’s teeming youths and create wealth.
However, the Minister of Steel and Development, Shuaibu Audu, sworn in on Monday, reaffirmed their commitment to restoring the while unveiling his programs to journalists in Abuja.
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According to him, the focus of his administration includes: setting a roadmap for the development of the steel sector, aggressively pursuing Ajaokuta steel, and enacting required bills to regulate the steel sector, among others. He said, “Our past leaders recognised the importance of steel development but lacked the political will to achieve its objectives.
“The steel development is synonymous with the Ajaokuta Steel plant, whose commencement has been over 40 years ago. We aim to start the engine and ensure that we produce at least a small sheet of steel within this administration.
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“It is a known fact that steel is the bedrock of any nation’s-development; if gotten right, it may be the beginning of our industrial revolution,” he said.
Speaking further, Audu disclosed that the creation of the ministry underscores President Tinubu’s mandate in pursuing the nation’s overall development.
In his remarks, Minister Of Solid Minerals Development Dele Alake charged the staff members with a result-oriented approach to achieving the presidential mandate for the sector.
According to him, the oil-producing industry, which has been a significant source of foreign exchange for the government, has continued downward.
“Knowing that the oil-producing industry is one downward trend, the following fundamental economic growth trend is solid minerals. And this sector has caused so much international trade warfare.
“Given the sector’s importance to the President, he sent me here as someone he knows very well to drive his agenda in this ministry.
“We will not allow civil service restriction to stop us from being innovative; we want results as long as we use legitimate means to get them,” he said.